The 2021 Chicago Auto Show will not take place in February because of the COVID-19 pandemic but organizers are aiming for a spring event, though dates have not been finalized.
"At this point, with the recent increase in [COVID-19] cases, it doesn't look like February is realistic," said Mark Bilek, senior director of communications and technology for the Chicago Auto Show. "So we wanted to make sure that we let people know that we're still very excited about trying to have a show in spring of 2021, at some point, be it in March, April or May."
The 2021 Chicago Auto Show was set for Feb. 13-21. The show's website now refers to spring 2021.
Bilek said the auto show, one of the biggest in North America, particularly with consumers, has been working with health departments from both the city of Chicago and state of Illinois to determine when it can hold the event. The show has submitted plans to the city and state but is waiting on approval, Bilek said.
"We didn't want to throw a date out there and then have to move it again," Bilek said. "So we're just, at this point, kind of in a holding pattern. And of course, being respectful of other major shows like New York and L.A. that have already announced dates. We obviously wouldn't want to conflict with those. So we'll work to make sure that we find an open spot on the calendar to host a safe and responsible Chicago Auto Show."
The auto show has long been held in February at McCormick Place in Chicago.
"We're still hopeful that we can pull something off in the spring," he said. "Hopefully that vaccine gets out there and people get healthy and we can have a show."
Chicago's move will be the latest change in what has been a flurry of updates and reshuffling of the auto show calendar.
The 2020 Los Angeles auto show was pushed back to May of next year, while the 2021 New York auto show moved to August. The 2021 Detroit auto show is now set for late September.
In Canada, digital auto shows in Toronto and Montreal have been scrapped for 2021.